New Study to Quantify Impact of College Closure on Student Persistence and Completion
The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, with generous funding provided by Arnold Ventures, are undertaking a new multiyear research endeavor to quantify the impacts of college closure on student persistence and completion.
According to a recent analysis by the Chronicle of Higher Education, even before the pandemic, over the previous five years, an average of 20 campuses closed each month, leaving around 500,000 students (mostly working adults, low-income students, and students of color) affected.1 Yet, little is known about what happens to students after a campus closes.
Over the next two years, leveraging a newly constructed student-level longitudinal dataset that the Clearinghouse holds on behalf of colleges, SHEEO and the Research Center will use descriptive analyses, advanced data visualization techniques, and quasi-experimental research designs to examine what happens post-closure to students. Rigorously and thoroughly quantifying the impacts of college closure on subsequent postsecondary outcomes will inform what has been a contentious policy debate around appropriate regulatory action meant to prevent, prepare for, and respond to college closures in a pandemic where more closures are expected to occur.